Patrick Hattman comments

Posted in: Rare footage shows Korean 'comfort women' from World War Two See in context

This issue, as well as many others related to Japan's empire building from the late 19th century through its defeat in WWII, will be kept in the public eye through at least the 2020 Olympics. The Tokyo Games will represent the perfect opportunity to cast the global media spotlight one more time on what Japan did, and whether or not it has properly atoned for its actions.

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Posted in: Penguins strike late to repeat as Stanley Cup champs See in context

Way to go, Pittsburgh Penguins! Another Stanley Cup title.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Taillon leads Pirates over Rockies in comeback game See in context

Way to go, Jameson Taillon!

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Posted in: Japan moves toward first major rape law changes in a century See in context

Some much-needed, overdue changes to the laws defining rape.

However, in order to change attitudes about rape among Japanese men, the government also needs to make it illegal to make any adult videos with simulated rape or a rape theme.

Rape is not entertainment and the girls don't like it. That's how to educate people from a young age.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. routs Puerto Rico 8-0 to win WBC See in context

Congratulations Team USA on the WBC title!

And now let's get on with the real baseball seasons in the U.S., Japan, Korea et al.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. beats Japan 2-1 in WBC semifinal See in context

So this year teams like Israel and Cuba who did well dont get to the host country at all, and the Netherlands and Japan only get to play once in the host country.

Americans comprised nearly all of Israel's roster so they came home anyway. It was no more an Israeli team than the "Greek" one that played at the 2004 Olympics.

As far as Cuba goes, not making the championship round made it more difficult for good players to defect to the U.S. The talent exodus has made Cuban baseball weaker and gave Japan another less talented opponent to play in the first two rounds at home.

Japan sees the WBC as a true world championship. Americans, in general, do not. If they care at all, it is viewed as a mildly interesting preseason tournament that also takes place while our incredibly popular NCAA basketball tournament is being held, and the NBA and NHL seasons near postseason play.

It's just not a big deal here. For example, Rays pitcher Chris Archer decided to go back to his team in spring training to get ready for his Opening Day start, rather than pitch in the WBC championship round. Max Scherzer was going to pitch in the WBC, but got hurt. But other elite talents like Harper, Kershaw and Trout were not interested.

I want the U.S. team to win today. The real seasons for MLB and NPB start soon. And then we don't have to hear about the WBC for four years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. beats Japan 2-1 in WBC semifinal See in context

Congratulations Team USA on reaching the final. It will be an interesting All-American match-up with Puerto Rico.

I expect the U.S. team to take the title. Japan, meanwhile, has to wait until 2021 for another shot at winning the WBC.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. beats Dominican Republic 6-3 to reach WBC semifinals See in context

Congratulations Team USA! Good luck against Japan on Tuesday. It's time to finally win a WBC title.

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Posted in: Ramirez' new home a far cry from the bright lights of Tokyo See in context

A luxury hotel paid for, a luxury car and chauffeur at his disposal, any food he might want, a cakewalk job as a DH for his new team.

Sounds like a heckuva deal for a washed-up, middle-aged guy. Ramirez will enjoy himself for a couple months and then head home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think North Korea poses a real threat to Japan? See in context

With that said, it does seem reasonable to me to conclude that if Neighboring nations around Japan have issues with the US, and if the US would cease to have a presence in Japan, then those issues would no longer be a factor.

No, they have issues with the U.S. because our strong military presence helps to defend Japan and does not allow China, Korea and Russia to force resolutions to territorial disputes with Japan to greater advantage than they already have.

Japan has maintained strong economic, military and political ties with the U.S. since the end of the Occupation because it has been cost effective and politically expedient to do so.

Come up with a reasonable alternative to the U.S. military presence if you want to drastically change things; like a much stronger SDF from larger defense budgets and weapons acquisitions. Start with the needed amendments to the Constitution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan hopes to leave agriculture out of U.S. trade talks See in context

Japan will push to leave agriculture out of its first economic talks with the Trump administration next month, sources say, hoping to prevent thorny topics such as its heavily protected farm industry from blocking other negotiations.

Japan will have to make major concessions like significantly increasing imports of U.S. fossil fuels mentioned here to get Team Trump to go along with it. The new president knows how to work a deal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Dozens of Somali refugees shot dead in Red Sea attack See in context

The UN’s humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien has called Yemen “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” with two-thirds of the population in need of aid.

There are many humanitarian crises around the world. Perhaps more people should be concerned about things that really matter, and not so much about entertainers or everything the POTUS says and does.

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Posted in: Fukushima Prefecture to host Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball & softball matches See in context

I don't want to see baseball and softball back in the Olympics, but maybe these events will help Fukushima a bit for a week or two.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan successfully launches spy satellite See in context

Japan launched a new spy satellite on Friday, the country’s space agency said, as the region grows increasingly uneasy over North Korea’s quickening missile program.

Japan needs to do its fair share of defense, including intelligence gathering, and rely less on the U.S. in the coming years. It will take a strong, assertive, and largely independent Japan to take care of itself in East Asia and to eventually resolve long-standing territorial disputes with China, Korea and Russia.

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Posted in: Abe battles scandal on two fronts as questions swirl See in context

Abe tried and failed his first time to take Japan toward some sort of warped "beautiful country" that looked wistfully back to the past and wanted to bring it back. He's tried this time with a "new country" which is just a rehashing of what he tried to start a decade ago. Five years is more than enough. It's time for Abe to go.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan beats Israel 8-3 to advance to World Baseball Classic semifinals See in context

Well, I have been a baseball scout for an MLB team for 13 years. I guess I have no idea what I am talking about though...

If true, then tell me where you think I'm wrong. I gave long, considered opinions, and you avoided most of what I said and gave a couple one sentence answers.

If you think that the three NPB teams you mentioned are more talented overall than the D-backs and Rockies, then I have to question not only your talent evaluation skills, but also your motives.

Go back and look at the talent distributed throughout NPB in the '90s and tell me where I'm wrong. The stars on the Lions and then the Hawks, the Blue Wave of the mid-'90s, the Swallows around that time, young Ichiro, young Matsui etc.

There were more big stars until Nomo started the exodus in '95 that really got going after 2000, and there was more overall depth, too. NPB almost downsized to 10 teams in 2004. They have been using more foreigners on organizational rosters, and have been expanding developmental rosters primarily to get more young foreign prospects into their system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan beats Israel 8-3 to advance to World Baseball Classic semifinals See in context

"SoftBank or Nippon Ham or Hiroshima could beat that team, let alone All-Stars from Japan...."

Hiroshima adds to its roster with American failures like Eldred, Hagens, Johnson and Jackson among their best players on the way to the Japan Series in 2016.

Nippon Ham fills in its roster behind Nakata and Otani with such luminaries as Bass, Laird, Martin and Mendoza on the way to the Japan Series title last year.

And you think these NPB teams are better than the MLB teams you mention? MLB teams wouldn't be interested in most of the above mentioned players in reserve roles, let alone as key cogs of a team.

There isn't an NPB team that could be competitive in the U.S. over the course of a big league season. Not one. And not in a seven-game series, either. A game or two? Of course.

Most NPB players are not MLB quality. A few here and there are on the 12 teams. Some of those could be good players in the U.S. An individual like Otani should be great a couple years down the road. But that's all.

A few players you cite, like Corbin, Greinke and Goldschmidt would put up much better stats against inferior NPB competition. One game here and there in the preseason, like the WBC format, proves little about the game and who is best.

"not sure what you are watching...NPB level of play is at an all time high."

I started watching NPB in 1990. The overall level of play in NPB was better in the '90s, IMO, than it is now. There was more quality depth and there were more talented stars back then.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan beats Israel 8-3 to advance to World Baseball Classic semifinals See in context

Oh give us a break after expansion when the Major league added more teams the quality of players had gone down several notches to fill in those teams.

No, MLB has continued to expand its worldwide search for talent to offset expansion, which is a big reason why the majors have so many foreign-born players on their rosters. The World Series is a real gathering of most of the world's best players to determine a champion annually. NPB, meanwhile, employs mostly fringe foreigners and keeps its four-player limit on top rosters, with the overall level of its game in decline over the past 15-20 years.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump's budget calls for border wall, border prosecutions See in context

Trump's policies will spur dramatic economic growth and jobs for millions. He will start reining in the monstrous deficits that Obama's responsible for through the end of this fiscal year. He will set aside disastrous government regulations, particularly at the EPA, that are damaging the economy. He will take the necessary steps to limit illegal immigration, particularly from six of the worst countries, and send home as many as possible. He has so much to do and will accomplish a lot over the next few years with Republican control of Congress, whether or not some like Graham and McCain want to get onboard. Trump will Make America Great Again.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Trump's budget calls for border wall, border prosecutions See in context

Fundamentally, America is now leaderless.

This is not true. Trump has led the way in his first two months by issuing numerous executive orders to get his agenda rolling while Congress dithers on many issues.

Ultimately, he will get his way at the Supreme Court on the immigration ban for six countries. The AHCA will be an improvement on ObamaCare, with its lies from the get-go and costs spiraling out of control. And he will win on his budget.

Trump will be president til at least Jan. 2021. He has control of both Houses of Congress, and will very likely keep it at the midterms, particularly when considering how many more seats Dems have to defend in the Senate.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan beats Israel 8-3 to advance to World Baseball Classic semifinals See in context

Yes Japan's BEST can play in MLB, but Japan's mediocre are not near MLB mediocre.

And I said so in my 3rd paragraph. NPB is 4A overall and the quality depth is not there. It's minor league baseball with some big-league caliber players scattered around the 12 team rosters.

I don't agree that Japan's All-Stars "would certainly beat" teams like the Diamondbacks or Rockies. Not just with NPB-based players, that's for sure. If they used Tanaka, Darvish and Otani in a five or seven-game series, probably, but I'm not particularly impressed with Japan's best lineup.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens with the next WBC. I wonder if they will hold it in early 2021, just a few months after baseball at the 2020 Games, even with minor leaguers filling out most of the rosters in Tokyo. The WBC really needs a commitment from the best every four years, or they should get rid of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan beats Israel 8-3 to advance to World Baseball Classic semifinals See in context

While Japan's stars can succeed against the MLB, its mid- and lower- range players of the NPB are far inferior to those in the MLB. But if we're talking pro teams, then I think that Japan's pro NPB teams are still a half-step below MLB standards.

Japan's best have long been capable of playing in MLB to varying degrees, with some like Ichiro a superstar, while a few others like Hideki Matsui and Nomo capable of playing among the best for a number of years.

And there were outstanding individual talents in NPB that MLB teams wanted long before Nomo. After Masanori Murakami played in MLB in the mid 1960s, it was NPB that prevented stars like Kaneda, Oh, Nagashima et al. from ever having a chance to try MLB. Star pitchers from the '30s and '40s like Sawamura and Starffin were MLB caliber in their prime years, for that matter.

The overall level of NPB is inferior to MLB. It really is a "AAAA" league. The quality depth is just not there, which is part of the reason why NPB has no limit on the # of foreigners on the organizational roster, although the first-team limit is still four.

When people talk about how teams would fare on either side of the Pacific, it's important to remember that the worst teams still win around 40% of their games over a long regular season, while the best are victorious about 60% of the time.

That's why postseason series are best-of-five, or more often best-of-seven series. That determines who has the best teams. The WBC format does not work that way to its detriment, and its timing in the preseason leaves a lot to be desired.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan beats Israel 8-3 to advance to World Baseball Classic semifinals See in context

Japan's cakewalk to the semifinals is complete. Aided by home advantage, a Cuba team decimated by many defections to MLB, a decent, but unspectacular Netherlands, and an Israel squad made up of American minor leaguers and has-beens, Japan wasn't seriously challenged in either round.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Do you think North Korea poses a real threat to Japan? See in context

North Korea poses a threat to Japan's economy by using technology to spy and steal. It is also a threat to Japan by the physical presence of its spies in the country and their nefarious activities.

It is not a nuclear threat. North Korea's leaders know that any attack on Japan would result in their complete annihilation. Their missile launches are just grandstanding for international attention.

Not surprisingly, the usual anti-U.S. crowd is here claiming that it would be possible to have an East Asia utopia if the Americans and their military would simply go home.

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Posted in: MLB players union head says 2020 Olympics difficult for major leaguers See in context

There is no way that MLB will agree to a loss of a few weeks of the 2020 regular season in order to allow its players to participate in the Olympics.

It would result in major financial losses for the 30 teams in the majors, the cities they represent, the networks that cover them etc.

Instead, they will probably send over another squad made up of minor leaguers who are not on 40-man rosters.

I'm a big baseball fan but I hope that the 2020 Games represent just a one-time reprieve for the sport.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Asian Olympic leader backs Sapporo for 2026 Winter Games bid See in context

One of the European cities will be the winner. The IOC is not going to have three straight Winter Games in East Asia.

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Posted in: Crown prince turns 57 See in context

Princess Masako is a beautiful, intelligent woman who was on her way to a very successful career in the Foreign Ministry.

Her husband, on the other hand, has always struck me as a nondescript little man.

It's a shame that she won't be Empress someday with the prince in the background; similar to Queen Elizabeth reigning and Prince Philip playing second fiddle.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Posted in: Budapest to withdraw bid to host 2024 Summer Olympics See in context

Los Angeles will be the host city for the 2024 Games. They will be able to use many existing facilities and keep costs in check.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Dustin Johnson goes to No. 1 with big win at Riviera See in context

Johnson is a tremendous talent. But he needs to win multiple majors this year to truly fulfill his promise. He has disappointed too often over the years.

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Posted in: Political football: For some, Super Bowl reflects U.S. divide See in context

As president, Trump drew on his sports connections when he tapped New York Jets owner Woody Johnson as the next U.S. ambassador to Britain.

So what? Dan Rooney left the Steelers in 2009 to become Obama's ambassador to Ireland.

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